When Professor Frederic M. Wheelock's Latin first appeared in 1956, the reviews extolled its thoroughness, organization, and conciseness; at least one reviewer predicted that the book "might well become the standard text" for introducing students to elementary Latin. Now, five decades later, that prediction has certainly proved accurate.
The revised sixth edition of Wheelock's Latin has all the features that have made it the best-selling single-volume beginning Latin textbook, many of them improved and expanded: 40 chapters with grammatical explanations and readings based on ancient Roman authors, Self-tutorial exercises with an answer key for independent study, A newly enlarged English-Latin/Latin-English vocabulary, A rich selection of original Latin readings-unlike other textbooks, which contain primarily made-up Latin texts, Etymological aids.
Also included are maps of the Mediterranean, Italy, and the Aegean area, as well as numerous photographs illustrating aspects of classical culture, mythology, and historical and literary figures presented in the chapter readings.
About the Author
Frederic M. Wheelock (1902-1987) received the A.B., A.M., and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University. His long and distinguished teaching career included appointments at Haverford College, Harvard University, the College of the City of New York, Brooklyn College, Cazenovia Junior College (where he served as Dean), the Darrow School for Boys (New Lebanon, NY), the University of Toledo (from which he retired as full Professor in 1968), and a visiting professorship at Florida Presbyterian (now Eckert) College. He published a number of articles and reviews in the fields of textual criticism, palaeography, and the study of Latin; in addition to Wheelock's Latin (previously titled Latin: An Introductory Course Based on Ancient Authors), his books include Latin Literature: A Book of Readings and Quintilian as Educator (trans. H. E. Butler; introd. and notes by Prof. Wheelock). Professor Wheelock was a member of the American Classical League, the American Philological Association, and the Classical Association of the Atlantic States.
Richard A. LaFleur is Franklin Professor of Classics Emeritus and former Head of Classics at the University of Georgia; he has served as Editor of the Classical Outlook and President of the American Classical League, and is a recipient of the American Philological Association's national award for excellence in the teaching of Classics. Among his numerous books are Scribblers, Scvlptors, and Scribes and the revised editions of Wheelock's Latin, Workbook for Wheelock's Latin, and Wheelock's Latin Reader.
Read an Excerpt
Why a new beginners' Latin book when so many are already available? The question may rightly be asked, and a justification is in order.
It is notorious that every year increasing numbers of students enter college without Latin; and consequently they have to begin the language in college, usually as an elective, if they are to have any Latin at all. Though some college beginners do manage to continue their study of Latin for two or three years, a surprising number have to be satisfied with only one year of the subject. Among these, three groups predominate: Romance language majors, English majors, and students who have been convinced of the cultural and the practical value of even a little Latin.Into the hands of such mature students (and many of them are actually Juniors and Seniors!) it is a pity and a lost opportunity to put textbooks which in pace and in thought are graded to high-school beginners. On the other hand, in the classical spirit of moderation, we should avoid the opposite extreme of a beginners' book so advanced and so severe that it is likely to break the spirit of even mature students in its attempt to cover practically everything in Latin.
Accordingly, the writer has striven to produce a beginners' book which is mature, humanistic, challenging, and instructive, and which, at the same time, is reasonable in its demands. Certainly it is not claimed that Latin can be made easy and effortless. However, the writer's experience with these chapters in mimeographed form over a number of years shows that Latin can be made interesting despite its difficulty; it can give pleasure and profit even to the first-year student and to the student who takes only oneyear; it can be so presented as to afford a sense of progress and literary accomplishment more nearly commensurate with that achieved, for instance, by the student of Romance languages. The goal, then, has been a book which provides both the roots and at least some literary fruits of a sound Latin experience for those who will have only one year of Latin in their entire educational career, and a book which at the same time provides adequate introduction and encouragement for those who plan to continue their studies in the field. The distinctive methods and devices employed in this book in order to attain this goal are here listed with commentary.
1. Sententiae Antiquae And Loci Antiqui
It can hardly be disputed that the most profitable and the most inspiring approach to ancient Latin is through original Latin sentences and passages derived from the ancient authors themselves. With this conviction the writer perused a number of likely ancient works, excerpting sentences and passages which could constitute material for the envisioned beginners' book. A prime desideratum was that the material be interesting per se and not chosen merely because it illustrated forms and syntax. These extensive excerpts provided a good cross section of Latin literature on which to base the choice of the forms, the syntax, and the vocabulary to be presented in the book. All the sentences which constitute the regular reading exercise in each chapter under the heading of Sententiae Antiquae are derived from this body of original Latin, as is demonstrated by the citing of the ancient author's name after each sentence. The same holds for the connected passages which appear both in the chapters and in the section entitled Loci Antiqui. Experience has shown that the work of the formal chapters can be covered in about three-quarters of an academic year, and that the remaining quarter can be had free and clear for the crowning experience of the yearthe experience of reading additional real Latin passages from ancient authors, passages which cover a wide range of interesting topics such as love, biography, philosophy, religion, morality, friendship, philanthropy, games, laws of war, anecdotes, wit, satirical comment. These basic exercises, then, are derived from Latin literature; they are not "made" or "synthetic" Latin. In fact, by the nature of their content they constitute something of an introduction to Roman experience and thought; they are not mere inane collections of words put together simply to illustrate vocabulary, forms, and rules-though they are intended to do this too.
2. Vocabularies And Vocabulary Devices
Every chapter has a regular vocabulary list of new Latin words to be thoroughly learned. Each entry includes: the Latin word with one or more forms (e.g., with all principal parts, in the case of verbs); essential grammatical information (e.g., the gender of nouns, case governed by prepositions); English meanings (usually with the basic meaning first); and, in parentheses, representative English derivatives. The full vocabulary entry must be memorized for each item; in progressing from chapter to chapter, students will find it helpful to keep a running vocabulary list in their notebooks or a computer file, or to use vocabulary cards (with the Latin on one side, and the rest of the entry on the other). With an eye to the proverb repetito mater memoriae, words in the chapter vocabularies are generally repeated in the sentences and reading passages of the immediately following chapters, as well as elsewhere in the book.
In order to avoid overloading the regular chapter vocabularies, words that are less common in Latin generally or which occur infrequently (sometimes only once) in this book are glossed in parentheses following the Sententiae Antiquae and the reading passages. These glosses are generally less complete than the regular vocabulary entries and are even more abbreviated in the later chapters than in the earlier ones, but they should provide sufficient information for translating the text at hand; for words whose meanings can be easily deduced from English derivatives, the English is usually not provided. The instructor's requirements regarding these vocabulary items may vary, but in general students should be expected to have at least a "passive" mastery of the words, i.e., they should be able to recognize the words if encountered in a similar context, in a later chapter, for example, or on a test; full entries for most of these "recognition" items will also be found in the end Vocabulary.
Table of Contents
|The Revised Edition||xxi|
|The Position of the Latin Language in Linguistic History||xxvii|
|A Brief Survey of Latin Literature||xxxii|
|The Alphabet and Pronunciation||xxxix|
|1||Verbs; First and Second Conjugations: Present Infinitive, Indicative, and Imperative Active; Translating||1|
|2||Nouns and Cases; First Declension; Agreement of Adjectives; Syntax||9|
|3||Second Declension: Masculine Nouns and Adjectives; Apposition; Word Order||17|
|4||Second Declension Neuters; Adjectives; Present Indicative of Sum; Predicate Nouns and Adjectives; Substantive Adjectives||24|
|5||First and Second Conjugations: Future and Imperfect; Adjectives in -er||31|
|6||Sum: Future and Imperfect Indicative; Possum: Present, Future, and Imperfect Indicative; Complementary Infinitive||37|
|7||Third Declension Nouns||43|
|8||Third Conjugation: Present Infinitive, Present, Future, and Imperfect Indicative, Imperative||49|
|9||Demonstratives Hic, Ille, Iste; Special -ius Adjectives||55|
|10||Fourth Conjugation and -io Verbs of the Third||62|
|11||Personal Pronouns Ego, Tu, and Is; Demonstratives Is and Idem||67|
|12||Perfect Active System of All Verbs||75|
|13||Reflexive Pronouns and Possessives; Intensive Pronoun||82|
|14||I-Stem Nouns of the Third Declension; Ablatives of Means, Accompaniment, and Manner||89|
|15||Numerals; Genitive of the Whole; Genitive and Ablative with Cardinal Numerals; Ablative of Time||97|
|16||Third Declension Adjectives||104|
|17||The Relative Pronoun||110|
|18||First and Second Conjugations: Passive Voice of the Present System; Ablative of Agent||116|
|19||Perfect Passive System of All Verbs; Interrogative Pronouns and Adjectives||122|
|20||Fourth Declension; Ablatives of Place from Which and Separation||129|
|21||Third and Fourth Conjugations: Passive Voice of the Present System||135|
|22||Fifth Declension; Ablative of Place Where; Summary of Ablative Uses||141|
|24||Ablative Absolute; Passive Periphrastic; Dative of Agent||155|
|25||Infinitives; Indirect Statement||162|
|26||Comparison of Adjectives; Declension of Comparatives; Ablative of Comparison||171|
|27||Special and Irregular Comparison of Adjectives||179|
|28||Subjunctive Mood; Present Subjunctive; Jussive and Purpose Clauses||186|
|29||Imperfect Subjunctive; Present and Imperfect Subjunctive of Sum and Possum; Result Clauses||194|
|30||Perfect and Pluperfect Subjunctive; Indirect Questions; Sequence of Tenses||202|
|31||Cum Clauses; Fero||211|
|32||Formation and Comparison of Adverbs; Volo, Malo, Nolo; Proviso Clauses||219|
|34||Deponent Verbs; Ablative with Special Deponents||234|
|35||Dative with Adjectives; Dative with Special Verbs; Dative with Compounds||245|
|36||Jussive Noun Clauses; Fio||253|
|37||Conjugation of Eo; Constructions of Place and Time||260|
|38||Relative Clauses of Characteristic; Dative of Reference; Supines||269|
|39||Gerund and Gerundive||276|
|40||-Ne, Num, and Nonne in Direct Questions; Fear Clauses; Genitive and Ablative of Description||284|
|Optional Self-Tutorial Exercises||356|
|Key to Exercises||396|
|Some Etymological Aids||435|
|Summary of Forms||446|
|Location of the Sententiae Antiquae||508|
|About the Authors||511|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is my second time trying to learn Latin, and I'm having a much better time at it thanks to this edition of Wheelock's Latin (which is, by the way, the 'standard textbook' for Latin language courses). Latin isn't effortless or simple, but it's very rewarding! My only wish is that there was more midieval or ecclesiastical Latin in the lessons, but this text focuses almost exclusively on classical Latin, from ancient Rome. It's worth studying, especially for students of law, medicine, language, literature, history, politics, philosophy . . .
This book is well organized and very informative. I enjoy the fact that you start reading small passages in the first chapter.